The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 30 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Special school faces probe

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 29: The state disability commission has initiated an inquiry into the alleged negligence by authorities of Bhima Bhoi School For The Blind following the kidney failure of a nine-year-old student of the school.

The Class III student, Ritabala Nandi, is now being treated at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.

A group of visually-challenged students had filed a petition before the commission alleging negligence by the school authorities that led to worsening of the girl’s condition.

They said despite knowing that the girl was critically ill, the school authorities did not bother to provide her the necessary health services.

“They kept neglecting her complaints. Finally they informed her parents and asked them to take her away,” said Sanyas Kumar Behera, a disability activist.

The students said, as Ritabala was not given any primary treatment, the illness reach an acute stage. “She was handed over to her parents only after her health deteriorated,” said Bijay, a visually-impaired student of BJB college. The petition also said that the school had no proper hostels.

“We tried our best and informed the girl’s parents and sent her with them. We sent her in December and her condition has deteriorated only now. So, why is it our fault?” said school headmaster Gouanga Chandra Patra.

The girl’s father Pabitra Nandi is a landless labourer from Athgarh in Cuttack and does not have a BPL card. Consequently, the family is unable to avail the benefits of government health schemes.

“The state government must ensure that periodic health check-up of students by the mobile health care team, constituted by the authority of the National Rural Health Mission, is conducted without fail,” Behera said.